The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) intends to develop guidelines for interconnection in The Bahamas. In this connection, the regulatory authority has issued an invitation for comments from licensees and other interested parties on its Public Consultation (see link below) on Proposed Interconnection Guidelines For The Bahamas.

The goals of this consultation are to:

*(a) inform licensees of the PUC’s expectations in relation to interconnection negotiation, principles to be reflected in interconnection offers to be developed by the Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd. (BTC) and agreements negotiated between BTC and Other Licensed Operators of voice networks and systems;

(b) describe the PUC’s approach to resolving interconnection disputes; and

(c) invite comments from licensees and other interested parties on the proposed guidelines.*

The PUC has a responsibility, under Section 13(6) of the Telecommunications Act to resolve interconnection disputes referred to it. Further, current licensing conditions provide for referral of interconnection disputes to the PUC for resolution.

In its Consultation Document, the PUC says interconnection is essential for the development of competition in telecommunications. Interconnection enables customers of one network to successfully complete a call to another customer irrespective of whether the originator of the call and the call recipient are connected to the same network or service is provided by the same licensee.

Written comments should be submitted by July 31, 2006.